Kicked Out of Zolar X (phyllisgabor) wrote in celebritybooks,
Kicked Out of Zolar X
phyllisgabor
celebritybooks

a man in every port

Did you ever read a book that you could literally not put down and yet made you feel kind of queasy? I'm having that reaction to Jane Ellen Wayne's Crawford's Men (Prentice Hall, 1988), a no-holds barred tell-all about Joan Crawford's epic love life.

One of the things that makes this book so compulsively readable are the non-fiction novel type recreations of moments in Joan Crawford's life, dialog and all. These recreations are fun in a literary Unsolved Mysteries way, but ultimately they make the whole book come off as less of a biography and more of a made for TV movie novelization. I can suspend my disbelief that the author can recall entire conversations she had with Joan Crawford, but when you're dealing with three pages of a fight she had with Franchot Tone in 1939 it gets a little contrived.

Another thing about this book that bothered me was a vague "EW, GIRL GERMS!" undercurrent in the parts that deal with the rumors about Joan Crawford's seemingly booze-fueled lesbian tendencies. The author never comes out and says, "JOAN CRAWFORD WAS A NASTY OLD DYKE," but her tone comes off a tad judgmental. She suggests that Joan's attempt to win over Bette Davis with gifts and dinner invites was a schoolgirl crush, but I always saw it as more of a keeping your friends close and your enemies closer type deal. But that's a debate for another time!

Now that I've dumped on this book for two paragraphs, I'll say that it's a quick and dirty read, and really hard to put down. I was up until 1 AM last night with this thing. I wouldn't use it as a resource for a master's thesis on Miss Crawford or anything, but you could do worse for a fun holiday potboiler.
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